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  • Ray Neighbor wrote: "This new world was opposite the so called "real" world. In this new world you learned about people from the inside out, as opposed to the real world, where physical appearance often came first. Everybody was new at this. They were not use to talking to the opposite sex about their personal life. They were not used to a member of the opposite sex being attracted to them in an indescribable, new, magical medium."

    Ten years ago I entered a German Haiku page. I wanted to learn about haiku. I wanted new things in my life. I had just been 50, my kids were on their own way, and my husband was drinking much too much.

    There seems to be a similarity in people, who write haiku: they tend to be intelectuals, teachers, artists, writers, they love nature, they observe the world around them closely and without being religious often they are spiritually inclined.

    A man commented my haiku with a lot of sensibility, I trusted him, we started doing what Ray describes so well: we opened our hearts. The Internet gives you a tremendous freedom this way, you can bypass all the prejudices we all carry in our heads when we look at and judge a person when we see him or her in front of us. Here were just words. I poured out my life and he his. We quickly felt that we were best friends. We told each other stuff we had never told another soul before.

    He was a much older man looking for a new life partner after two divorces. I felt lonely in my marriage desperate with the kiss of midlife.

    Our talking went to the erotic. I had never done that. It excited me and scared me.

    This cyber - contact, where we exchanged more than one million written characters in just a few months ( my computer gave me the exact number), gave me the strength to leave my priviliged life and drunk husband. I moved out and in with a woman friend and a few months later I went to meet that man in person.

    I feared that moment and desired it. You just read the words a person writes and create an image inside yourself, but sooner or later, if things get ahead, you have to confront what people had to confront at all times: meet the other person in his or her real life and skin.

    When I entered the arrival hall in the Frankfurt Airport I spotted him immediately and my heart sank to the bottom of the world in a second. I just saw an old man. I knew in no time that I did not love him, that against all the odds the love of my life was my husband.

    This also connects to the subject of shame, which Kelly Mason and I just explored in two stories. I felt deeply ashamed in front of my husband, I had not made love to that other man in reality, but still, I guess, I had been unfaithful to him. I also felt shame, because that man did love me and I caused him a deep pain in his heart.

    Still: there is another side to the story. My husband came to grips with his alcoholism and eventually we found each other again. Our marriage has improved. In a certain sense, that man gave us a huge gift.

    I still write haiku on that page and so does that man. We keep our mutual comments to haiku.

    Art By Kiki

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    Kiki en TELEMUNDO
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